Best opening line on a track in my iPhone has to be “Poetry is no place for a heart that’s a whore” from Martha Wainwright’s gorgeously evocative Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole released in 2005.
Can you tell I’ve spent several hours in the car since Saturday listening to iTunes mixes? With a wedding at Greens Beach, house at Campbell Town, a couple of houses in Burnie and the usual around town work the life of this photographer is one packed with plenty of kilometres in das Polo. We had a cancellation for a property at Low Head today – can’t say I’m sorry not to have to drive down the river again this week.
All the hours behind the wheel makes for sometimes limited time actually engaged with running the company and meeting clients’ needs, so when I finally get a little admin time on a day like today it’s interesting to see what trends have developed since the last time I crunched the numbers and chatted to clients.
Trend one: We’ve been busier this year than we were at this time last year. Yay us!
Trend two: There’s significant unease in the housing market and there are some really fearful agents at the moment concerned with falling prices (and obviously therefore falling commissions).
Trend three: Yet another shakeup in Launceston’s residential sales market with the closure/buyout of 41 Degrees by Harcourts will leave even more agents on tenterhooks.
Trend four: Brides and grooms are shopping around and asking a lot of tough questions as more wedding photographers have entered an already saturated Launceston market. Well done to those brides and grooms who ask the hard questions about quality, service, reliability, price and responsibility.
Trend five: More and more businesses are struggling to make ends meet, with 30 day payment terms blowing out to 45 days + where previously payment was made on time. Generally speaking payments are still being made – just no longer on time – which is usually one of the hallmarks of poor cash-flow and a faltering economy.
That’s not all bad news because changing markets and tightening economies simply mean the need to bring your A-game to the table, to get better at delivering your products – and vitally – your service.
And in a market where you compete with others essentially selling the same products as you – photos, houses, food, clothes – it is the quality of your service that differentiates you from the opposition; that puts the poetry in your heart. It’s the connections and relationships you make with clients and potential clients that matter in the long-run.